by Isaac Silver

All the trees were on fire.
The asphalt roads bubbled, tarmac quick
sand greedily swallowing
matchstick people. Tumbling they went,
flakes of a city dissolving in a shot glass
of Armageddon.
Horses ran from the Hertz hauling business
with incandescent manes as all the oxygen
vanished and candles in air raid shelters
flickered out.
Firestorm entered the dictionary;
a new and dangerous and enrapturing
word that – if you heard it – would sound
in your head like a church organ playing
all keys at once,
would feel like the sun,
and would taste like pyroclastic flow.
High above the dull red cobblestones
a gunner cheered.
He felt the warm air waft up to the wings,
noticed how the fuselage was speckled
with soot, thought he smelled a barbecue
back home.
Down below, everything sloughed off to
the bone.